Iran: Happy Anniversary, Dictator
But this did not mean that there would be no challenge to the regime on May Day, and indeed Mousavi used the occasion to demonstrate that he had found a way to outwit the regime's efforts to cut him off from the masses throughout the country. The regime has been quite effective in blocking Internet communications like e-mail, Twitter, and Facebook, especially during "hot" periods. So Mousavi resorted to a tactic that had been used by Khomeini in the run-up to the 1979 revolution: he found a low tech method to spread his message. Khomeini distributed audio cassettes with his messages. Mousavi put his May Day message on DVDs, and the Greens have been passing them out all over the country. There are now upwards of 100,000 of these floating around, and for those who cannot play the diskettes there are videotapes. It's beautifully produced, and frankly it makes one wonder where in the world the message was filmed. The quality is a lot better than you find on the al-Qaeda videos, to put it mildly.
Despite the regime's attempt to suppress demonstrations from the workers, there were plenty. What? You don't believe it? Here's a good bunch of videos for you. And here's the most entertaining one of the day: it's the man that dissidents are increasingly calling "the chimpanzee, " President Ahmadinejad. This brave man, who hurls insults at the infidels, from President Obama on down, was afraid to announce his May Day speech at the University. So an auditorium was filled with his supporters and he sneaked on campus. But they found him out, and told him what they thought of him.
Elsewhere, there were street fights between workers and security forces, especially in the Province of Isfahan. In some cases, the workers prevailed for a while. The regime, sensing its weakness, is increasingly removing the last remnants of a legitimate judiciary, packing the courts and ministries with members of the Revolutionary Guards Corps. The most dramatic recent case is the appointment of Mohammad Bagher Zolghadar, former deputy commander of the Revolutionary Guards, as the new Social Protection and Crime Prevention deputy at the Justice Ministry. Zoldaghar is widely considered one of the most vicious members of the regime, having been deeply involved in some of the mass murders of the last two decades.
It is just the latest symptom of incoherence, as the regime thrashes about trying to find a way to restore its lost legitimacy. But there is no way. As Mousavi put it nicely a couple of weeks ago,
Unfortunately, (the government's) frameworks are like sand holes that cannot hold even a drop of water. Currently (they) do not have a clear and concise frameworks or plans. ... The conditions in the government are such that everyone is assumed a conspirator and officials suffer from illusions of conspiracy.
And so the supreme leader and his cronies continue their slide down the death spiral of the Islamic Republic.
Next significant date? June 12th. The Greens have requested permission to demonstrate...